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Here, a little later than usual, is the monthly foreclosure activity update.

The following chart shows that default notices and trustee sales, respectively the initial and final stages of foreclosure, both declined last month.

But both defaults and trustee sales remain at levels that are, shall we say, elevated. The next graph shows both series since 1990, adjusted for growth in San Diego’s population. The pace of foreclosure activity may be down, but it is well above anything seen in the 1990s.

We can take a slightly different view by comparing default notices to home sales, which is a way of comparing housing demand with potentail must-sell supply. The following graph shows the sale-per-defaul ratio, averaged over 12 months to remove seasonal effects, for both the current bust and the 1990s bust. Again, there is no comparison.

Foreclosure activity may have crept down of late but it’s still blowing away pre-bust historical comparisons.

— RICH TOSCANO

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